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Hospital fire kills 37 in South Korea

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Health Desk-- 27 January 2018: A huge fire tore through a South Korean hospital in Miryang on Friday killed at least 37 people, the government said, in the country's worst blaze for a decade.

Around 130 others were hurt in the fire, which comes just weeks before thousands of athletes and foreign visitors are expected in the country for the Winter Olympics.

While South Korea has risen to become the world's 11th-largest economy, some of its infrastructure was built rapidly and it has a history of preventable disasters.

It was the country's second major blaze in a month, and officials admitted there was no sprinkler system installed at the hospital.

Videos posted on social media showed a patient hanging on to a rope dangling from a helicopter above the hospital, in the far south, and another crawling out of a window to climb down a ladder.

The fire came only a month after 29 people were killed in an inferno at a fitness club in the South Korean city of Jecheon -- a disaster blamed on insufficient emergency exits, flammable finishing materials and illegally parked cars blocking access to emergency vehicles.

The fire is South Korea's worst since 2008, when a blaze at a warehouse in the city of Icheon killed 40 workers.

The worst fire ever in modern South Korea was an arson attack on a subway station in the southeastern city of Daegu in 2003 that left 192 people dead and nearly 150 injured.

Courtesy: Agencies